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13th July 2016

MIRA Technology Park Welcomes Japanese Automotive Industry Leaders

MIRA Technology Park – the 1.75 million sq. ft. Enterprise Zone in the Midlands – played host to more than 40 delegates from across the Japanese automotive industry earlier this week as part of an event day specifically designed for Japanese vehicle manufacturers and Tier 1 supplier already engaged or looking to engage with the European automotive market.

The event was supported by the UK Trade & Investment organisation in Tokyo and Osaka and Joint External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and the Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO) in London. Minister Matsuura from the Embassy of Japan in London was guest of honour and delivered a speech highlighting the importance of the automotive industry to both Japan and the UK.

Minister Matsuura said: “The automotive industry has long been a dynamic force in the UK, one that can support economies, create good jobs, improve productivity and encourage innovation, driven in a major way by the Japanese investment in that industry. MIRA, together with its pioneering facilities at the MIRA Technology Park, has prompted the dynamic growth of UK as a global automotive destination, and I expect that, now being a HORIBA Group company, it will play more important roles in vitalising further the automobile industry, including the supply chains.”

Largely made up of the Japanese expatriate automotive community, delegates were able to hear from keynote speakers, including George Gillespie OBE and Hiroshi Kawamura CEO and Chairman of HORIBA MIRA respectively and Lawrence Davies, CEO at AIO. Delegates also learned about HORIBA MIRA’s capabilities in automotive technology including Real World Driving Emissions (RDE) and Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technologies as well as the MIRA Technology Park development and how it is supporting many overseas companies to establish UK Research and Development (R&D) operations.

Hiroshi Kawamura, Director at HORIBA MIRA, said: “HORIBA has engaged with the UK automotive market for well over 30 years and during this time we’ve come to understand the strength of the industry. We were delighted to share our experiences as HORIBA UK and our recent investment in HORIBA MIRA to delegates at MIRA Technology Park this week, and provide an example for how the Japanese and UK automotive industries can work together.”

Terry Spall, Commercial Director at MIRA Technology Park, said: “The UK automotive industry has seen sustained growth in recent years, and with that comes many opportunities for Japanese vehicle manufacturers and their supply companies – either to enter the market, or to further grow their existing operations.

“We already have a number of Japanese companies based here at MIRA Technology Park carrying out R&D work and the day was designed to showcase how establishing a UK-based R&D presence is becoming an essential step taken by many in order to connect with the automotive R&D community in the UK and Europe and for supply companies to fully support global vehicle manufacturer demands. We’ve had a really positive response to today’s initiative and we now look forward to further developing these new relationships.”

Delegates at the event were able to see some of the facilities and operations undertaken at HORIBA MIRA, including visits to the Electromagnetic Compatibility Centre, one of its Climatic Wind Tunnels and its Kinematics & Compliance facility. Demonstrations of MIRA’s Connected Autonomous Vehicle and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle technologies were also on display.